HELSINKI Nokia NOK1V.HE reported a surprise year-on-year rise in the quarterly profit of its network equipment unit, its core business after the sale of phone division to Microsoft (MSFT.O)
The Finnish company said its first-quarter operating profit for the networks business grew 10 percent from a year ago to 216 million euros ($299 million), topping all forecasts in a Reuters poll of analysts which had an average expectation of 143 million euros.
Nokia's group earnings per share in the quarter were 0.04 euros, ahead of the market expectation of 0.03 euros.
Nokia earlier on Tuesday announced that Rajeev Suri, the chief of its networks unit, will become the group's next chief executive next month and said it would return 2.25 billion euros to shareholders.
($1 = 0.7223 Euros)
(Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Robert Birsel)